Personal training: Motivation for skill learning

This type of feedback provides knowledge that directs the client’s motivation. For example, a client who is shown how to perform a particular exercise; they practice it and through intrinsic and extrinsic feedback, they are able to gauge the distance between their present performance and their goal performance. This helps the client modify their actions, until through learning, their present performance and goal performance become identical – feedback here is providing knowledge influencing the direction of the client’s motivation.

This type of feedback can also have an effect on how much energy the client will expend on future tries at performing the exercise. For example, if a client receives intrinsic and extrinsic feedback indicating that the difference between their current performance and their goal performance has decreased, then they are likely to perceive they are improving and that they are making progress. This type of feedback can be very satisfying for the client and act as an incentive to continue to use their available energy to try to improve their present performance until the goal performance has been achieved.

However, if this type of feedback indicates that there is no difference between their present performance and their goal performance, or even worse, that the difference has actually increased, then the client will perceive they have made no improvement or no progress has taken place. This can be very frustrating and may serve to reduce the amount of energy used for future attempts to learn or even to devote no energy to it whatsoever – the client will not try very hard in the future or may just give up.

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